19 October 2015
A picture of Female maintenance apprentice wins prestigious student award

A maintenance apprentice from Leeds has been commended for her hard work and commitment in the construction sector at a prestigious award ceremony.

The award

Jessica Senior, a 20-year-old apprentice for Sanctuary Maintenance, part of Sanctuary Group, attends Leeds College of Building and has been presented with a Higher Education and Construction Management Student of the year award.

The accolade was presented at the college’s annual awards which celebrate the work and achievements of students throughout the college during the past academic year. It provides an opportunity for the college to showcase the industry’s rising stars.

Jessica’s training

Having left sixth-form to find a line of work that would allow her to be more active, Jessica started a joinery course before applying for an apprenticeship with Sanctuary.

Jessica is now in her third year of training in the Maintenance team carrying out void repairs. During her time with Sanctuary, she has completed several training courses including asbestos awareness, safeguarding, health and safety, and has also gained a Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship in Maintenance Operations. She is now studying for a Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment.

Over the past three years Jessica has been faced with many questions as to why she works in maintenance, but since starting in the role she has been keen to encourage other females to feel confident in choosing what many perceive as a male-orientated role.

Speaking of the award, Jessica added: “I am so grateful for being selected and noticed for my efforts. There is sometimes an issue around the perception of girls being in the trade, an old fashioned, out of date view of women and work. I am often asked why I do the job I do, and my answer is simply because I enjoy it.

"Prior to receiving the award, I was off college for about three months donating a kidney to my Mum so I was very surprised to hear about it. I kept up with work as best I could before I was off and also tried to catch up when I returned.

“I have been very fortunate and lucky to work with the people I do and they have looked upon me as an operative. It has motivated me to work harder, and to earn the respect of those around me who value me not for my gender, but for my work ethic and quality.”

Adrian Cheetham, Sanctuary’s head of maintenance, commented: “Jessica has shone throughout her apprenticeship and has shown everyone that the role you choose to work in does not have to be based upon your gender. She fully deserves this award and the recognition she’s received for her commitment to her role and the field.

“She is a valued member of the team and I believe she has a bright future with us. I look forward to watching her progress.”

Apprenticeships with Sanctuary

Sanctuary operates a UK-wide Apprenticeship scheme

The award winning scheme has supported over 1100 young people into placements, both directly within Sanctuary and through development partners.

The programme provides apprentices with a meaningful career path, on-the-job training, support in achieving nationally recognised qualifications and the opportunity to earn while they learn.

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